UC Santa Cruz has joined the Public Interest Technology University Network, a partnership of 36 colleges and universities dedicated to building the nascent field of public interest technology and growing a new generation of civic-minded technologists. Co-convened by the Institute for Social Transformation and CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, this initiative bridges every corner of the campus.
PIT-UN launched in 2018 by New America, the Ford Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. It represents a collaboration across sectors to define and build the public interest technology sector.
“Technology is driving a lot of our inequality, and a focused, high-level effort to be sure technology is used for social good is a really timely thing.”Chris Benner, a professor of sociology and environmental studies, and one of the faculty members who took the lead on the campus’s application
The overall goal for UC Santa Cruz in its first year in the network is to help integrate the diverse range of initiatives on campus related to public interest technology into a more cohesive network on campus. We are planning a series of quarterly campus workshops starting in the spring quarter with focus on 1) curriculum planning and development, 2) alumni relationships and student career development, 3) project funding and support, and 4) coordination of experiential learning opportunities.
In regards to the broader PIT-UN network, UC Santa Cruz is excited to strengthen existing collaborations, such as with UC Berkeley, while identifying opportunities for new collaborations with other network members.
Chris Benner, director of the Institute for Social Transformation, and Michael Matkin, assistant director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, will oversee the PIT-UN effort at UC Santa Cruz.
For information on joining the collaborative, please contact Chris Benner email@example.com.
Network Challenge Fund Opportunity
The Network Challenge seeks to encourage new ideas, foster collaborations, and incentivize resource- and information-sharing among network members. The broad goal is to fund projects that help train a new generation of graduates who have both technological literacy and a rigorous foundation to navigate the societal, ethical, legal, policy, and equity implications of technology by offering a systematic way of studying technology as a tool for addressing social problems in the world.
Internal deadline is June 1, 2020. Applications are open to all PIs on UCSC Campus. One year project funding is available in three tranches: up to $45,000, up to $90,000 and up to $180,000. An initial campus limited submission process will select up to three projects that will be submitted to the network committee. Applications can be submitted here.
To answer questions, and to discuss ideas and collaborations, we will hold a Zoom Info Session next Tuesday, May 12th from 3:00 – 4:00 PM. RSVP here.